Concerned Cat People seeks to transform Gladstone
If you're a cat lover in Clackamas County you might have noticed there aren't many options for cat shelters that take in strays or provide services in the area. There is however an up-and-coming no-kill nonprofit organization growing more and more every day: The Concerned Cat People of Gladstone-Rescue.
In 2008, group member Janice Saban began with Trap-Neuter-Return, helping feral cats get spayed or neutered in the Milwaukie area. When she moved to Gladstone, she began to see cats on the streets that were homeless due to their owners abandoning them. Many cats that she encountered were feral as well, so she began doing Trap-Neuter-Return once again.
The Feral Cat Coalition told Saban about Nextdoor (free, private, online, social network for your neighborhood) and suggested that she post about the cats she finds to try and reunite them with their owners. The more cats she found, the more people started to notice the issue with all the homeless cats.
Gladstone Mayor Tammy Stempel reached out to Saban and told her to set a meeting date and invite people so she could talk about her cause to the community after seeing the cats that were posted on Nextdoor.
From that meeting, the Concerned Cat People of Gladstone-Rescue group was born.
"From a year ago, being just an idea, to becoming this really great cohesive group, thank you very, very much," Stempel said at a recent City Council meeting after the Concerned Cat People of Gladstone-Rescue gave a presentation.
There currently are six members of the group. There are foster cat caretakers, a fundraiser, presentations done for the City Council, and they've been certified as a nonprofit.
The group gets messages from the police department, Nextdoor, vet offices, apartment managers and Facebook regarding stray cats. Saban does an assessment of the situation, picks up the cats, and then someone from the group takes the stray into their home until there's a placement for them.
It can be quite difficult to even get the cat from point A to point B. Many times there must be traps set and food put out to try and lure the cat into a kennel. Other times the cats are ill or badly injured, which can make the entire process more difficult.
County has need
The Concerned Cat People of Gladstone-Rescue already have had five successful adoptions. The group will do an at-home visit to the potential adopter's house to ensure it is a good environment for the cat, and after two weeks of being placed into a new home, the group will return to the home to make sure that all is well and the pet and new owner are happy together.
Many people think cats that get abandoned by their owners go straight to the Oregon Humane Society. What they don't realize is that many people don't even bring their cat to a shelter, they simply leave. There are no "cat control" organizations in Clackamas County that pick up strays off the streets.
The Oregon Human Society, as well as other shelters do not take in strays that people find and want to place into a home. The shelters only take animals by owner surrender.
Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Marion and many other surrounding counties all have somewhere for their stray cats to go, but Clackamas County does not. The group gets calls from Molalla, Oregon City and other locations across the county requesting help from the Concerned People of Gladstone-Rescue.
"The fact of the matter is, if we have all the fosters we can take, what do we do?" said Brenda Quint-Gaebel, another member of the group.
The members of the Concerned Cat People of Gladstone-Rescue put a great deal of time and energy into helping cats in the community, without any compensation. All the money raised from fundraising is used to purchase things like food and other necessities for the cats in their care.
The group has everything they need to be a solid foundation: They have a cause, devoted members, foster homes and supplies. But they're missing one valuable thing for their group: a building.
Most of the cats are being cared for at the homes of various members of the group, which can be a lot to handle all at once. You never know if a cat is going to have fleas, mites or a disease, and it can be risky bringing strays into your home.
The Concerned Cat People of Gladstone-Rescue always are looking for help, whether you're a committed cat lover who wants to be a part of the group or someone who wishes to donate to the cause.
"We're here, and we need your support," Quint-Gaebel said. "If someone sees a cat in their neighborhood, people assume it belongs to someone, but 70 percent of the time, it's lost or abandoned or a feral. Everyone can become involved in their own community by paying attention and making sure they are cared for.
"Kitty season is going to be coming really soon and it would be so nice to have more people involved," she added.
Want to help?
Here are some felines up for adoption:
Missy is a 15-year-old cat that lost her home when her owner, whom she had spent her entire life with, died. Her human's daughter was going to euthanize her but we took Missy in. She was rescued and has been in foster care for about seven months. Her only health issue is arthritis, for which she is on the Hills Joint Care Prescription diet food. She gets around fine, but slowly and stiffly. Missy would like to be in home that provides a safe, quiet environment. Although she would prefer there not be other cats, she could potentially do fine with another older cat if she has her own space.
Shelby is about 10 months old. He is a neutered male who started life as a feral.
When he was about 3 months old he was rescued and placed in foster care where he has flourished.
He quickly progressed from being wild and afraid to being outgoing and loving with his foster mom and seven foster cat brothers and sisters whom he gets along with very well.
He is easy to love, but is very assertive when it comes to feeding time, having no qualms about eating his wet food quickly and then pushing the slower eaters out of the way. He is litter box trained and indoor only.
Elsie is a 10-month-old spayed female who started life as a feral.
At around 2 months old she was rescued with her sister and brother and placed in foster care. She had to be moved three times to get to her current stable foster home, which may have contributed to her shy behavior.
She has gradually become more playful and outgoing. She has a very sweet disposition. Although she enjoys playing with other cats, she can be easily intimidated if there is a jealous cat in the household.
She would do well in a calm environment where she is does not have to compete.
Como is a neutered feral cat, about 5 years old. He was relocated over the summer with four other ferals who picked on him when a new apartment manager took over.
Como is not suitable for a barn home since his light coloring would make him easy prey.
Como would make a great shop cat where he could roam safely and chase mice. Como only roams at night, when he eats. He's content watching YouTube videos during the day.
He likes to perch in a cubby during the day, and his diet is dry and wet, with a bit of water added.